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Try to Picking a Cruise Line

sue138 518 43 April 22, 2016 at 03:42 PM
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I'm looking to pick a cruise line between Carnival ,Norwegian,or Royal Caribbean. i've been on Carnival four times already ,and I've been satisfied every time but I'm just wondering if I should experience a different company and Cruise Line. I prefer to go to the Eastern Caribbean side during the months of October November of this year. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED

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#2
All 3 lines have cruises in a lower price range. Sticking with one cruise line should give you past cruiser discounts and perks. What is your style of cruising? What port are you looking to sail from?
http://vacationstogo.com/ticker.c...&tm=201611
will give you a good idea of prices.

People on the forum at http://www.cruisecritic.com/ would probably be a good source of comparison information.

When you do decide on your specific cruise, you should check http://www.cruisecompete.com/ -- prices may not be much different but sometimes there are offers like room credits or a bottle of wine that help sweeten the pot.
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#3
Agree. Great advice. Just finished 13 day Trans Atlantic with Celebrity. While its mostly older croud on Trans A trips the food and service was much better IMHO than Princess. And the price was very low with booking less thana month before departure. Watch Vacations to go and can check how cabin availability is running. Air fare deals offered through some lines that are hard to beat.
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#4
I've been on Carnival only too - I want to try Norwegian, I've heard great things about them, mainly that they are a little calmer than Carnival. The boat I was on was a party boat for sure.
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#5
Quote from joedealz83 View Post :
I've been on Carnival only too - I want to try Norwegian, I've heard great things about them, mainly that they are a little calmer than Carnival. The boat I was on was a party boat for sure.
The party boat atmosphere also varies with length of the cruise. A shorter cruise like 3-5 days are more of a party cruise, younger adults, etc. 7 day or more cruises tend to be less of a party boat.

Norwegian has been catching a lot of flack the past year or so about them doing more nickel and diming by charging for more things. If you have not already checked it out, www.cruisecritic.com is a great source for info on cruise lines so check out the forums there for comments on the different lines.
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#6
When you compare prices, don't be fooled, by the free drink pkgs,, tips or buy one getone half off. Royal is notorious for pulling crap pumping up the prices just before their "sale"

Fully price out, date, cruise cost, gratuities, drink or dinner packages, transportation/hotel costs.

As said above, the shorter cruisers are the "party cruises". I've had 5 day cruises with no problems. Also during spring breaks, you tend to get the college partiers.

I'm going on Royal next week, 5 day to Bermuda, it's only a 2.5 hr drive for us to get there, older ship but to do the New Anthem at only 1 hr away, we're talking about $1,000 more. I had some %40 loyalty discounts with Carnival, but only figuring the transporation, Royal won.
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#7
Quote from davido2 View Post :
The party boat atmosphere also varies with length of the cruise. A shorter cruise like 3-5 days are more of a party cruise, younger adults, etc. 7 day or more cruises tend to be less of a party boat.
I agree. I was on a Carnival spring break cruise -- but it was an 8 day out of Puerto Rico -- and was definitely not a party cruise. We paid just under $800 for a double balcony room. We had 2 chairs and a lounge chair out there. Thought it was a great deal and a good cruise -- six stops -- and we got to spend an extra couple of days in PR.
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#8
Only you will be able to decide what is the correct cruise line for you, and this choice will further break down ship by ship.

You didn't mention important details such as what type of cruiser you are, and what is important in a ship. Do you prefer suites, all-inclusive, family ships that have lots for kids to do, heavy nightlife, or such?

Doing research yourself on the popular cruise forums is the best move you can make. We've cruised Carnival, Norwegian and Crystal, and here is our take - please note it's purely opinion and you'll find plenty of contrary opinions:

Carnival - Cheaper cruise geared towards both family and partiers, we no longer would consider taking this line. We enjoyed it when we took it as our first cruise in our late 20's / early 30's. We were on the Carnival Fantasy

Crystal - This is a very pricey line that best suites people in retirement and that want a line that will have very few kids or people under 55. We were highly impressed by the service and all-inclusive nature of it before that was popular. We were on the Crystal Symphony.

Norwegian - We just took a Norwegian cruise 3 months ago and I think we found our niche... We had a suite in the Haven area, so we were a bit spoiled by the best of the best, but we loved the entire atmosphere and we will be sailing with them for future getaways. I had both Royal Caribbean and NCL as my top picks, but NCL won the cost analysis I did when looking at the suite prices. There is something for everyone and our experience was amazing.

You will read so many contrarian opinions on every ship, cruise line and the content of the cruises from the food, entertainment and activities. You should always keep an open mind, and realize that people go in expecting different things, and just enjoy every moment and find what style best suites you.
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#9
bestpriceruises.com

And I would disagree, if you catch the right company in the right sale you can do well. We recently did a 7 day out of Puerto Rico on Celebrity. Did the Aqua class thing and was blown away by the quality of food that Blu served (not the standard cruise mush). They did free drinks, tips, and a $100 on board credit, as long as you are aware of the base prices you definitely get a better deal with those freebies.

For the week we paid around $1100 each, typically the tips are around $100, but drinks are huge if you are a drinker (and the package is $55 nightly if you pay). I like to drink Wink

Final suggestion is that you an typically find discounted gift cards for all the cruise companies on ebay, but just be aware of the gift card rules. Good luck!

Ex. (but western) https://book.bestpricecruises.com...9485045293
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Last edited by roxwella May 17, 2016 at 06:47 AM
#10
We've done NCL (most recently Jan 2016) and RC (most recently Feb 2014). Don't know if RC has changed, but no more lobster dinners in the main dining rooms on NCL. Food was definitely better on RC. On the other hand, free 3rd & 4th persons in the room offers on NCL (if you're into that, and, of course, if available) can make for pretty decent savings. For price comparisons, I like vacationstogo [vacationstogo.com]
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#11
Quote from BoscoBearbank View Post :
We've done NCL (most recently Jan 2016) and RC (most recently Feb 2014). Don't know if RC has changed, but no more lobster dinners in the main dining rooms on NCL. Food was definitely better on RC. On the other hand, free 3rd & 4th persons in the room offers on NCL (if you're into that, and, of course, if available) can make for pretty decent savings. For price comparisons, I like vacationstogo [vacationstogo.com]
Carnival lost the lobster on 5 nights and below, but you can buy it in the dining room for $20 upcharge. 6 nights and above has the lobster. Royal still has their's on 5 nights as of one week ago.
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#12
We are within 3 1/2 hours of a port that is known for having "party" short 3-4-5 day Carnival cruises. Until 2014, Royal also came to that port and we tried a RC 7 day cruise---loved it. The food and shows were good. It was one of their now smaller ships (something like 2200 passengers max) and there were some lines at peak eating times around the buffet and hard to find a table at times to eat. That was only really peak times like noon though. The buffet food was excellent but the same thing each day pretty much. However, the dining room was top notch with meals fit for a king/queen every single night. You could also eat lunch and breakfast in the dining room --it was just slower. Amazing service, waiters, good room steward and the ship was spotless.This was a W. Caribbean cruise. The ship didn't have a bad spot on it for viewing or relaxing. The cabins and main areas were spotless. The room was spotless and quiet.

Once Royal pulled out, we took our next cruise on Celebrity out of FL and LOVED It. It was far superior to Royal in every aspect (even though both are owned by same parent co.) except the dining room. The dining room was a "miss" for us, so we ate elsewhere on the ship (free options). The food (besides dining room) was far superior to Royal and more plentiful. It had more areas to eat and extra things like a sushi bar, fresh pizzas made on the spot, ice cream bar, etc. Every food imaginable was at lunch and dinner on the buffet. They had an English breakfast side and American breakfast side on the buffet every morning---lots of fresh fruits and options. Lunch and dinner were outstanding choices each night. We took our son on this trip and he would be hungry late night and could go get a fresh pizza, etc. easily. On Royal some friends we met on the ship wanted to eat late night and there was only some quick thing around the pool open with maybe 2 food options--and it was not so good. Kind of like grocery pizza if you know what I mean--not great. If you are a late night eater, the food is supposed to be much more plentiful on the newer, bigger Royal ships. This is not usually problem with us. We don't eat late night at home ever. IF I had to pick the cruise based on food---Celebrity would win overall but Royal was best in the dining room. Our Royal cruise still had lobster and such on one night and my husband said it was excellent.

We only book last minute cruises. We have found that even with specials or a repeat cruiser discount, etc. for us booking last minute gets us a better price---even than with a travel agent. We also watch vacationstogo for the prices but their price drops can be hours behind---so check the cruise site directly, too. When we booked the celebrity cruise so cheap, it was on their site and no other agents could beat it. I agree about Royal raising prices before a "sale". That last Celebrity cruise we took about a week prior to sailing dropped rates massively to fill cabins--and we booked then. Royal used to give last minute discounts but has pretty much stopped them all together since 2015---although I hear they still exists in some markets. I read where people were complaining that they booked in advance with Royal and paid so much more than last min. cruisers. I can tell you that we cruised and met a couple who had paid for their Rc cruise 2 years in advance and they didn't say an amt. but they were disappointed in what they paid after talking to others. I got the impression they felt they overpaid by booking early. At our table at night was us, them and another couple who had also booked cheaply last minute. So, I can see that if that happened. We vote with our wallet and I am looking for a bargain but yet I fall short of booking the party cruises. I just think I am too old for that now.

We are not drinkers, just like to go and relax and eat good meals and see the sights. We are not young by any means and we are not quite yet in retirement but we prefer more subdued crowd. We actually like the shows and eating and relaxing the best. (We never eat out at home, so that's a treat). Oh, and Royal's had a real "movie" theater and we liked that a lot. We don't go to the movie at home either, so to see some new movies---was fun. On celebrity on a rainy day they just showed one in the theater and it was just because it was raining. Royal had a movie schedule for each day and ran several movies a day. The casino was much more fun on Royal, too. Shopping areas won on Celebrity.

Read up on cruisecritic Most everyone has a favorite line, it's just what you like the best that determines it. I think a lot of the different ports have different vibes, too. Some ports/ships draw a younger crowd, some older.
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Last edited by sandalwood May 23, 2016 at 06:58 AM
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#13
Just an fyi...

Quote :
The child fell while playing basketball on the 4,248-passenger Norwegian Escape, suffering severe brain damage, according to a legal filing. A surveillance video taken of the court on April 25, the day of the accident, could give doctors some clue as to what happened — but the Miami-based cruise line has declined to release it.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/b...47757.html
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#14
Quote from jbloggs View Post :
Just an fyi...




http://www.miamiherald.com/news/b...47757.html
Absolutely horrible and sad, but what exactly does that have to do with this topic?? Certainly fear mongers aren't suggesting that cruises are dangerous because a sad event takes place in which a kid got hurt playing basketball?
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#15
Quote from BlueLightSpcial View Post :
Absolutely horrible and sad, but what exactly does that have to do with this topic?? Certainly fear mongers aren't suggesting that cruises are dangerous because a sad event takes place in which a kid got hurt playing basketball?
I'm not trying spread fear, just something to keep in mind that it's all great fun until something like this happens and for the most part nobody can do anything about it since maritime law is mostly on the side of the cruise liners.
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